FOWC with Fandango — Over


By Neel Anil Panicker

Fatima Bibi looked at her husband, her saturnine face turning even more serious.

“Pray, what else can we as parents do? After all she’s a girl. All I know is that she’s …”

“She needs to get married as she’s just turned ten and it’s time she learnt how to cook, wash clothes, clean the utensils, cook food for all of us including her two elder brotherswho do nothing but play all day long. Plus, that she pick up needle and thread and learn how to sew, right? Isn’t that what you want to say, Fatima?”

‘Yes, and if she doesn’t do all these things then who would ever marry her? What would she do in this world? How would she survive?’

“By getting herself an education. By working, by becoming financially independent. And for that we, as parents, must cross over and open the door of knowledge for her. She needs to fly high, soar like a free bird, and for that we need to turn over a new leaf,  be a  little more pro-women.”

#neelanilpanicker #FFfAW #TTC #FOWC #flash #fiction




By Neel Anil Panicker

“His will be a fish bowl existence”

‘You mean the gold fish type?’

“Exactly. They’ll lay out the red carpet for him, have him walk down the aisle amidst staggering applause, and then slicing through the high clapping and super shrieks of Hail Hitlers, gingerly usher him inside his cubicle where awaiting him would be wall to wall thick silk carpeting, piped music, low floating lights et al. That’s where he would reside till the powers that be have a change of heart and replace him with their next rubber stamp, maybe this time a pumpkin, for a change.

‘Would that keep him quite? Make him turn a blind eye to all the wrongs?’

“For sure. He’s been bought. Can’t you see the goodies that would surround him? He’s their child___a made to order concoction, one who’s been programmed to do their bidding. One whose only job is to amuse himself with all the paraphernalia that surrounds him__the candybars, the hot chocolates, and the sexy thing in high heels that would feed him all this.

#neelanilpanicker #flash #FFfAW #fiction #shortstory #storystarter #FOWC #TTC #ThreeThingsChallenge #onewordchallenge #175words

Written for multiple writing prompts including Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers where the challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

FOWC with Fandango — Public


A BRIDGE TOO FAR  (genre/crimefiction)

By Neel Anil Panicker

Waiting is something Freddie D’ Costa detested like the plague.

Killing time___that was not his forte.

He would rather kill.

And thoughts of murder were racing through his mind as he waited and peeped outside from his 12th floor hotel balcony.

His eyes were fixed on the ocean blue waters that loomed ahead; on the bridge that raised itself to a half salute.

Inhaling deep into his Marlboro, his hawkish eyes studied the waterscape all around it, at the mass of humanity that was crawling their way towards the pier, the flotsam and jetsum that wafted in and out of Harry’s Harbour every single hour of the day.

His eyes caught a hand, a brown weather beaten leather bag that moved in sync with other bodily contours.

He raised his vision slightly, and saw the face that connected the hand.

Instantaneously, an agony dripping howl escaped his throat.

‘Damn’t! I’d warned them not to send stupid Charlie.’

His eyes darted helter skelter as he watched with increasing exasperation the silhouette of the diminutive young man get closer and closer.

At the instant, from the corner of his eyes, he spotted Customs Inspector David Storm loom into view from the northern periphery, taking purposeful strides towards bay area.

‘The gold’s gone,’ he half howled.

Below him, the moon’s beams caught his exasperated visage forming dysfunctional patterns as the waters heaved and sighed much like young lovers on exploratory missions at the dead of the night.

#neelanilpanicker #FFfAW #TTC #FOWC #flash #fiction #storystarter

FOWC with Fandango — Balcony

FOWC with Fandango — Balcony


Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE

Also for with Fandango — Silent


By Neel Anil Panicker

“I thought I was very popular. Isn’t that what…”

The Party President interrupted him. “You’re for sure. But it’s a jungle out there and sometimes even the lion has to do more in order to lord over his kingdom.”

As others nodded their heads in silent affirmation, the man continued,” I think you develop wings.”

“A what?”

“A winged lion that roars and flies all across the country solving problems.”

The man in the corner who hadn’t spoken so far chipped in, “It’s from the Bible. It symbolises the birth of God’s Kingdom on Earth. This way we can usher in the new Kingdom of Modi.”

The man at the centre slapped his wrists and roared his approval as his 56 inch chest swelled with pride.

Soon the spartan room reverberated with chants of Har Har Modi Ghar Ghar Modi.

“But Sir, we may have a problem. A winged lion has is a Bliblical reference. St. Marks…”

He was cut short by the portly President himself, “Great! That way we also ensure the Christian votes”.

#neelanilpanicker #fiction #flash #175words #Modi #India #politics #satire #India





By Neel Anil Panicker

‘Dear Desh Bakhts, Modi Bhakts and Cow Bhakts (in no particular order).

Today is a red letter day for India.

As I hang here, suspended in mid air, my head buried deep in mud made purer by the wash of the sacred Ganges, I present before you my latest innovation__a 100 per cent home grown cow milk.

This fully home grown desi packaged cow milk is my gift to all countrymen who until now are being forced to buy low quality contaminated milk that not just drills a huge hole in their ever shrinking pockets but also leaves a bad day long taste.

Buy my milk, and you will have no more of all this. Plus, there’s one added benefit.

My milk is also a spy. Each packet is fitted with a radio fitted device; an antenna pops out of the all-white cow embossed carton, and is tuned to catch all voice signals from across the border.

So, dear cow worshippers, it’s time to show your desh bhakti by drinking hot BABAJI KA DOODH, and be the spy who came in from the cold.’

#neelanilpanicker # fiction #shortstory #flash #FFfAW


TRIVIA: Definition of desi in English:


(also deshi)



  • 1Local; indigenous.

Definition of bhakti in English:



mass nounHinduism 

  • Devotional worship directed to one supreme deity, usually Vishnu (especially in his incarnations as Rama and Krishna) or Shiva, by whose grace salvation may be attained by all regardless of sex, caste, or class. It is followed by the majority of Hindus today.
  • ***

Written as part of Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. The challenge is to write a flash fiction story or poem in around 150 – 175 words, based on the weekly photo prompt. Thanks as always to the challenge host Priceless Joy. For more information visit HERE.

To read other stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.



By Neel Anil Panicker

As the applause reached a crescendo and the jam packed hall reverberated with lusty cheers and thunderous claps, the microphone in the announcer’s hands sprung to life.

“We heartily congratulate Comet Technologies for its grand success.”

The next few words were drowned in a sea of boisterous squealing and cheering that continued for well over the next fifteen minutes.

For the next half an hour all eyes and hands gravitated towards the centre circular table where seated in a majestic all white swivel chair  a man held fort and accepted with folded hands the blessings and congratulations of one and all.

The man in question, the epicentre of all the buzz that floated through the cool evening air of Taj Intercontinental’s grand ground floor Convention Hall was none other than the highly venerable Alphonso Verughese, the whole sole owner of the latest unicorn that had climbed up to stratospheric heights in the cut throat business world.

Later, much later, after the applauses had died out and the night had embarked on its long lonely march towards day, ensconced all alone in the comfort of his sprawling sea side villa, seventy year old Alphonso ruminated about the fairy tale grand finale that his tumultuous life had reached.

And then the words of his grandfather sprang into life.

 “My child. Remember, success in business is all about violation of one’s principles, about cavorting with the devil. But true happiness and respect comes when you succeed without sacrificing your ethics and morals.  The day you do that you have walked in the shoes of all great men.”


FOWC with Fandango — Violation


Written for multiple writing prompts:

FOWC with Fandango — Stability

This is my 175 word story for the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers. We are given a photo prompt that is kindly photographed by our participants and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. It’s fun and everyone is invited to participate. For more information, clickHERE.

To read all the stories submitted for this challenge, click on the blue froggy button below:


By Neel Anil Panicker

Raphael moved the curtains aside and peeped out. Nothing met his eyes; there was no view.

Gone were the everyday signs of stability that met his eyes___the beautifully laid out rose garden; gone too were the tall cinder trees that ran along its edges; also the looming spires of St. Thomas Catholic Church, the place that otherwise would be choc-a-bloc with Sunday morning worshippers.

Instead, all that greeted him was a thick hazy blanket of mist. It was as if someone had taken an eraser and rubbed clean the face of the earth leaving only an eye shadow.

As the day crawled forth Raphael felt an increasing bony chill run down his spine as he watched with horror the distant horizon and wondered whether the sun would make an attempt to pierce through the maze and obliterate this white carpet of nothingness.

It was then that his faith began to ebb as the most reputed doctor in town slowly began to realize that if the weather gods played truant any further he would soon die.